Ottawa spends $1.23 million on Arviat’s young hunters program

“It’s a win-win-win,” says Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal

Joe Karetak, centre, leads young hunters through the early steps of building an igloo outside Arviat on March 23, 2016. The young hunters program started in 2012 to teach young people how to catch country food and has expanded into an environmental monitoring program that the federal government is helping to fund. (Photo by Dylan Clark)

By Jim Bell

Arviat’s highly praised young hunters training program will receive about $1.23 million in federal money between now and 2022, the federal government has announced.

That announcement coincides with a visit to the Kivalliq region by Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal, who travelled today to Rankin Inlet and then Arviat, where he met Premier Joe Savikataaq, who’s also the MLA for Arviat South.

“It’s an incredibly positive program because it involves young people, it involves young people partnering with elders, learning traditional ways of life, traditional hunting, traditional foods and at the same time, taking part in activities that address climate change,” Vandal told Nunatsiaq News from Rankin Inlet, where he was en route to Arviat.

The young hunters program, which started in 2012, is operated by Aqqiumavvik, the Arviat Wellness Society.

Its purpose is to have local elders and other instructors train young people between the ages of eight and 18 in the sustainable harvest of country food.

In addition to that, they receive training in environmental monitoring, especially observing the signs of climate change, through a program called the Ujjiqsuiniq Project.

“Ujjiqsuiniq” means the process that enables one to monitor and observe with confidence, the Aqqiumavvik website says.

To help them do that work, the program is getting funding from three federal programs:

• $412,062 over three years, from 2018 to 2021, from the Climate Change Preparedness in the North Program, which is run by Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada.

• $375,000 over three years, from 2018 to 2021 from the Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring Program, which is run by Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada.

• $439,954.00 over four years, from 2018 to 2022, from the Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program, which is run by Indigenous Services Canada.

“Climate change is a huge issue in the North. Climate change is occurring at three times the rate of the south, and I think it’s a great marriage between young people and elders, learning how to re-introduce traditional foods into their diets, and hunting and survival skills,” he said.

“At the same time, they’re out on the ice, outside, measuring ice conditions and learning about climate change at the same time. So, it’s a win-win-win.”

This is Vandal’s first visit to Nunavut since his appointment to the Northern Affairs portfolio this past Nov. 20.

In that capacity he’s already visited Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Churchill and has met in Ottawa with a variety of territorial premiers and other northern leaders.

Today and tomorrow in Arviat, he’ll meet with Savikataaq to talk about how the federal and territorial governments can co-operate on Nunavut’s priorities, along with a series of other meetings that have been lined up.

Also, Vandal said he and Savikataaq will go out on the land tomorrow to meet some of the young hunters.

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Suqa on

    It would be great if other communities would have a share of the funds. That’s a bit much invested only in one community.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Start your own community program and apply for funding like they did in Arviat

    • Posted by Dominic Irksuk on

      i go there almost everytimes, nothing much going on, only the intructor much talk about it, then we trys to answer, i think they or only him will try get $$, i thought about real healing, but he just said, this thing might take lots of work, i’ve haved talk to elders 1’s in pass about healing, like mamihaaq, in our hurt in the pass. i don’t think this kind of real healing will happen when i saw million dollars. in post. like i was thinking too many suiside happens in our town. nothing much going on that part, & only elders gets paid when they go there. not us who really trys answering or said. this is not real inuits way of learning, it’s like southerners part of works, foods we eat only we haved. what will other big money will go. mabe only to them. i can say that. it has to be real inuits way of life, cause our way is gone from southerners learning much. this i don’t like.

  2. Posted by Megan on

    The Aqquimavik Society has worked tirelessly to get to this point. This money didn’t just drop into their lap, they worked for it. If you want your community to have the same access, you should start a society and you should run the programming too. If you reach out to them they would be more than happy to work with you I’m sure.

  3. Posted by Kajaq on

    Other communities can also benefit from this as well, if they can come up with initiatives and people willing to look into what activities they can make happen in their community.
    Nunavut must stop waiting for ideas to be brought to them. Start by willing to start from scratch and promote positive livelihood programs.

  4. Posted by Quvianaq on

    Instead of trying to put them down. This should be a stepping stone for other Nunavummiut to create great programs such as this. Instead of waiting for a hand out. Brainstorm how they may have gone to this point. Dream big and nothing will stop you. Uukturuvi taimanna, isumai nuqarummajjaanngittuq. Create a team who will help you or your community to create something wonderful such as this program. This program, I’m sure help a lot of men who struggle with day to day lives, but through this program may help alleviate whatever they may be going through.

    Ikajuqattiigupta, Sunamia pigunnarvavut.

  5. Posted by Madeleine d’Argencourt on

    I’ve seen the benefits of this program myself. I think it is a model that should be adopted by all communities, super successful and amazing results. Good job! Great too that Minister Vandal is visiting Arviat to see for himself a Nunavut community. Arviat has a huge youth population with little employment, I think this program is great.

  6. Posted by George Camp on

    I think this is a very positive program in many different ways.

  7. Posted by Jim MacDonald on

    The comment “Climate change is occurring at 3x the rate of the south”.
    Oh my, how does that work when everywhere on the globe is warming 2x faster than global average. Sad part in today’s upside down world, to get funding, climate change hype game is demanded to be played. Be aware. Have doubts. Question herd thinking, what is wanted to think and where leading to.

    Adirondacks warming faster than global average.
    Tibet 2xfaster than global average.
    Korean Peninsula warming faster than global average.
    China heating 2x faster than global average.
    National Parks warming 2x faster than global average.
    Britain warming faster than average.
    Norway warming double.
    Spain warming faster than rest of northern hemisphere.
    Sweden 2x faster than global average.
    Singapore faster than global average.
    Alaska 2x faster than global average.
    South Africa 2x faster than global average.
    Mountains warming 2x faster than global average.
    New Jersey warming 2x faster than global average.

    • Posted by Eski on

      Very true, everyone needs to be aware of herd-thinking.
      We all tend to agree or follow along with whatever we hear or see on facebook.
      This is how propaganda works and it has worked against Nunavut in some cases.
      Or every interview we see, they repeat what has been said.

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